April 23rd, 2008
03:15 PM ET
10 years ago

Blitzer: Inside the spin wars

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

CNN Anchor Wolf Blitzer

(CNN) - You can get dizzy from all the political spinning that's going on.

If you listen to the Barack Obama team, the Pennsylvania results actually showed that he was improving when it comes to winning support from white working class voters. They say he did better with this group in Pennsylvania than he did six weeks ago in Ohio, where Clinton also won by about ten points.

If you listen to the Hillary Clinton team, the results show that Obama simply can't win in major battleground states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida and Michigan. Those are states, they insist, a Democratic presidential candidate desperately would need to win in the general election.

All the spinning is designed to sway those still-undecided super delegates who will be critical in eventually determining the party's nominee. Remember – the party created those superdelegates so they would be able to ensure that the eventual nominee would be more competitive against the Republican nominee. That's why those superdelegates are so important and powerful. The rules make clear that they can choose a candidate who did not win the greatest number of pledged delegates, or the popular vote.

Right now, Clinton advisers also pursuing some of the superdelegates who earlier announced their support for Obama. They suspect the results from Ohio, and now Pennsylvania, are giving some of those Obama supporters buyer's remorse. They are hoping to change their minds. The party rules state that superdelegates can change their minds at any time until the real roll call on the convention floor.

All of which suggests this contest is not over yet – and might not be for some time.

If someone would have predicted back in early January, before the first contests in Iowa and New Hampshire, that the Democrats would still be slugging it out now, they would have been ridiculed. The assumption back then was that the Republicans would be fighting and fighting while the Democrats settled on their candidate relatively quickly. That goes to explain why politics can be so unpredictable and so much fun to cover.

soundoff (305 Responses)
  1. Ambrose Aban

    Wolfe, we need a change - a woman president is a change. Hillary is ready and raring to go and hitting the ground running. There is no such thing as the perfect president. And Obama is not perfect either. But at least Hillary is experienced and she knows how to fight and unite the people. People listen when she argues her case and nod agreeingly. People are taken into a dream when Obama speaks but Obama is so scripted and so polished and so calculated. Hillary is real and genuine – imperfection shows everywhere but she is as human as the next person watching your coverage everday. People hate to listen to scripted speeches, praising the gods, the skies and whatever. Wolfe , we don't want change or don;t give us hope. No more hope. No more change. It ain't going to happen. Hope and change are way too much to ask and to promise. We are smart people. We know the job is a hard one to do. Just tell Hillary to win this thing and make it suck less.

    April 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Florence

    I would not vote for Hillary if she was the only person running for office. I am a well educated, white woman over the age of 45. She is single handedly destroying the Democratic party because she feels that she is owed this nomination because of all the years she has suffered with Bill Clinton and his philandering ways. If she was such a strong woman’s advocate she would never have stayed with a man who has cheated on her numerous times. She sees Bill as her way to the White House and that is why she has tolerated him over the years. She has an agenda all right and it has nothing to do with the American people. It has to do with her ego. Barak Obama came out of know where at the insistence of the Democratic party that he run because the party did not want another 4 years of Clinton's in the White House. And he took her thunder. Now she bash’s him like she can't bash Bill in public. Wake up folks, Hillary is a vindictive, spiteful woman who only wants to get her hands on some power. You are not voting for Bill and she is the wrong woman to cast a vote for. Our time will come but this is not it and she is not the right woman. She cannot beat McCain and that is why Rush Limbaugh has so many Republicans crossing over to vote for her in the elections.

    April 23, 2008 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. John in Iowa

    Obama cannot win the big states. Obama cannot win important primaries.

    Guess what? There are no caucuses in the general election!

    He cannot stand up against McCain. McCain will chew him up and spit him out!

    Hillary or McCain '08!!

    April 23, 2008 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  4. NYC for Obama

    Hillary we will remember what you've done to damage the democratic party when you come back to NY and try and get your seat back!

    You'll have better luck running as a Republican!

    April 23, 2008 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  5. Greg

    This is getting ridiculous. Why should Hillary be able to change the rules at the end of the game? The reason Obama can't close the deal is because he already has!!! Hillary is done.

    Obama 08!!!

    April 23, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Desiree

    I'm sick of people saying that Obama can't win big states because he lost them in the primaries. Think about it a little, do people really think that California and New York will tun into a red state? I can carry California and New York as long as I have a D next to my name.

    April 23, 2008 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  7. Marcy,Florida

    Excuse me for saying, Deb, Obama and Clinton did not campaign here in Florida. Obama did not put his name on the Michigan ballot because he did not think he could win in that state. Anyway, Obama is the one that has kept us here in Florida down with our vote. I will never for Obama-period.

    April 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  8. That's Odd

    Michigan and Florida are both favoring McCain at this point, ecspecially mid-state Florida. The demographics are on the side of the Republicans, and the states are likely going red. They are not 'needed' as claimed if we focus on states like Iowa, Colorado, Virginia, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

    I'm open for debate on electability, but don't simply state, "OBAMA CANT WIN THE GENERAL ELECTION HE SUCKS". Back it up with evidence, to which I can find none, zip, nada.

    Obama/Clinton '08

    April 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  9. Ken

    Obama only needs 293 delegets to secure nomination.... he need only 40% of the remainning to win. He only needs 30% of the superD. So far we heard that he has 50 SuperD who have committed to him but not announced.. This the so simple and clear ....People are simply trying to STEAL nomination.................

    That doesn't work

    April 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  10. PATTY


    April 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  11. Steve for Obama

    Last sentence in Patrick Healy's article in today's NY Times, " Mr. Obama is spending 75 cents for every dollar he is taking in; Mrs. Clinton is spending $1.10." Congratulations to those of you who donated $2.5 million last night....you'll need to dig deeper and give her another $250,000 just to break even!

    April 23, 2008 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Steven L.

    As long as Hillary plays nice, I don't care how long she stays in. The problem is she does anything she can to tear down Barack Obama. I mean come on – introducing an ad with Osama Bin Laden the day before the Pensylvania primary?

    April 23, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  13. Angel

    More power to Hillary and the white racist whom everyone seems to forget but want to point to black folks voting for Obama. Black folks have suffered in this country long enough and are strong people who will continue to survive. Black people understand America very well–as Hillary as stated, she will obliterate IRAN and black folks know that at any given moment, they can be next. May the good lord bless and keep you all because everything is just a matter of time.

    April 23, 2008 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  14. Ambrose Aban

    Wolf, a change = a woman president. That is a change.
    Hillary is ready and raring to go and hitting the ground running. There is no such thing as the perfect president. But at least Hillary is experienced and she knows how to fight and unite the people.
    People listen when she argues her case and nod agreeingly. People are taken into a dream world when Obama speaks. Cool but people forget about his words a few minutes later - cos it is not real. Sounds great but not real. Obama is so scripted, so polished and so calculated. That's ok. But Hillary is real and genuine – she is far from perfect but she is as human as the next person watching your coverage everday. People are getting tired of listening to scripted speeches, praising the gods, the skies and whatever. Wolf , tell Obama to stop promising us change and hope. That is just too much. We are smart viewers. Just tell Hillary to win this thing and make it sucks less.

    April 23, 2008 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. chris

    Congrats to Hillary on the large PA win (10 points is LARGE ya'll!!!). Clearly Obama is rattled, and all the Clinton haters need to face up that she's a fighter who's just tougher than Barak. Yes, SHE can!!!

    April 23, 2008 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. MMASH in NC

    Clinton has very high negatives in recent polls...much higher than Obama. Seems to me that make HER less electable. The polls also show that a majority see her as dishonest. Seems to me that makes HER less electable.

    Obama is more likable than either Clinton or McCain. Attacks don't stick to a likable candidate and thats why they get elected. Unfortunately, Democrats never seem to learn this lesson.

    April 23, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Ephy

    Well, please understand this: Hillary won OHIO by waving the "3 a.m. add, she now "wins" Pennsylvania by waving Bin Laden. Now tell me, what if people are no longer afraid? Fear is not permanent, and will have vanished come November.
    Well, Hillary cannot hold by playing on people's fear.
    Taking the fear factor into consideration, Hillary ultimately lost.

    April 23, 2008 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  18. Max Brand

    Would somebody explain something to me?

    Hillary Clinton's campaign constantly uses the argument that she is more electable because she's carried all of the big states during primary season.

    But to my thinking, this does not predict how she'll do against John McCain in those states. And it also doesn't tell us how Barack Obama will do in those states against McCain. The ONLY thing it tells us is that she beat Obama in those states.

    Am I missing something?

    April 23, 2008 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  19. Leila

    Has any candidate ever spent the amount of money on an election that Obama has? I guess voters aren't as easily bought as Obama's camp wants to believe.

    The media spent all of the fall attacking Clinton and worshipping Obama. Not until Michelle Obama's anti- American speech and the true story of Reverend Wright were exposed did the media say anything negative about Obama. Now we know there is lots to be said and more will be exposed.

    Many states voted before the real Obama was exposed to the American public. They voted during his cheerleading days and while his slogans and rhetoric were everywhere and were being believed. If those states could vote today, Obama might have far fewer delegates.

    I am a Democrat and was impressed with him initially. Now I know more about Obama and will not vote for him in a general election no matter who he runs against or who his running mate is. Obama is not ready for the presidency and his judgement and character are very questionable. Refusing to debate Hillary again does not help him win support.

    April 23, 2008 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  20. M.S. Indiana

    It amazes me how people who voted for Bill Clinton now looks down on the one bringing hope and new ideas....

    Bush had more experience then Bill Clinton got in office, so where is the true story about experience ??

    April 23, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  21. Amira

    Wolf Blitzer sounds like a Hillary supporter, he likes to attack Barack and he exagerrates. I think that he is a Jew and he thinks Barack is a muslim or something like that.

    Lou Dobbs is one of the worst ! he is a racist jerk anti-immigrant, anti-obama.

    April 23, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  22. gerald strother

    In fact, she barely made a dent. At most, she picked up a net gain of 12 delegates - less than our gain, for example, in Colorado (where we gained 17) or Kansas (where we gained 14). Her gain in Pennsylvania was less than half of our gain in Virginia, where we added to our lead by 25 delegatesThey Can't overturn the will of the people ! IT will be ugly if they overturn, Do the MATH no way for her to win ulessThey Can't overturn the will of the people ! Then what has she won ??? over my volt and in no way will volt for her , now is win the most delegates hse has my volt

    April 23, 2008 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  23. Matt. AZ

    Spinning aside, the candidate who has the majority of the regular delagates should be considered the winner, period. Most "Super" delagates realize this and will fall in line when the last vote is counted in the last primary.

    April 23, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  24. Dale Wise

    Obama bringing a 30 point deficit in PA down to single digits (9 points) in two months isn't 'spin'. Clinton claiming that same 21 point loss in the polls is a 'major victory' is. See the difference?

    April 23, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. orange park

    I am a Florida resident. Can somebody explain to me how she claims a victory in my state for an election that was invalidated by the Party rules? She agreed prior to the Florida primary, that the results would not count. I guess that she agreed since she was still recovering from her sniper episode in Bosnia and had not come to her senses.
    Playing by the agreed-to rules does not count when you are trying to fulfill your pre-ordained destiny.

    April 23, 2008 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13